Saturday, January 22, 2011

"you can cure yourself from depression"

Just walked in from a house party where I heard, one more time the "you can cure yourself from depression" theory. The one where the speaker is so fucking convinced that, from personal experience, it only takes a lot of personal will and strength to rid yourself from the evil possession that results in depressive mood.
Right. Tell that to the woman who three years to this date found her partner, who struggled with bipolar and depression, dead after committing suicide. To his son who was the first one to come see her and the dead man and who still will not admit himself that depression is a bitch, a real disease that takes lives, who says that suicide victims are just weak freaks. Sad. Tell that to me, who have lived with depression since childhood, and whose father was that man her mother found three years ago in their family home, and for whom his loss is harder to deal with the more the years that go by and it certainly made even less sense when I had a child myself.
It's an issue (mental illness, being a REAL illness, like diabetes or cancer) very dear and close to my heart, because I myself have to still get to the acceptance stage, the one where I feel OK knowing that I live with this (depression, anger, anxiety, mood swings) and that it is not just a situational "little depressive stage", but a biological and perhaps genetic origin illness that hinders my ability to enjoy life like "normal" people may. Please don't get me wrong, it is by no means cool  to be diagnosed with mental illness, unlike many young people seem to think now, if we think of depression as a real and present disease that affects the brain's function and by consequence the body, maybe it won't be so fucking glamorous and/or people won't minimize it as when they say "we all have issues". We may all have issues, but we have not all been seriously and medically diagnosed and receive proper treatment and are not committed to the betterment of our wellbeing and our health. We would all be better people if we did, though.

So, hear me when I scream: Screw you, high and mighty self cured depressed people, and please keep your opinions about mental illness not being an illness to yourself. Yes, it is all in our heads, because the brain is the organ that is ill...for real. Educate yourself, ask us questions, but please, don't diagnose us and certainly don't treat us if you are not living on our side of the fence, because, even for those who do live with us on our side of the fence this is a daily struggle, please mind us all. I sometimes wonder if I have the energy and should actually start a Hispanic chapter through the NAMI in our city, because we need to reach out and promote make mental illness education present among the Latino community.

Just for today, let us honor that man's life and let us remember his good deeds, and the good times we did have together. May he rest in peace and may the Lord have mercy on him and us. I love and miss you, papa, even when it was so difficult to love and miss you when you were around.

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